Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Business

Smith international program offers diverse dynamic

Queen's in the World

Angela James knows first-hand and through years of watching students come and go on international exchanges that “growth happens on the fringes, when you’re pushing yourself and being challenged.”

Ms. James, Director of the Centre for International Management in Smith School of Business, felt it herself when she backpacked through Europe, and throughout her career in international education, which began at the University of Waterloo working in recruitment and as an academic adviser, a job that saw her welcoming and sending out exchange students.

“I was really shocked to see the transformation of students, both those who had gone on exchange overseas or who came to Canada to study. I thought, ‘this is something we can’t teach in the classroom,’” she says.

The Centre for International Management team includes, from left to right, Aileen Dong, Giovanna Crocco, Tenay Bartzis, Jacoba Franks, Angela James, Alison Darling, Alison Doyle, Kerri Regan, and Alina Jumabaeva. (Missing from the photo is Emily Mantha, who is on leave until 2018.) The staff members bring a wealth of expertise, including fluency in French, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.

Now at Smith, Ms. James provides support, along with a team of eight others, to about 1,200 incoming and outgoing students every year (the largest international mobility program for exchange at Queen’s).

Within the Centre for International Management, there are two units, one providing support to the Commerce program and another supporting the school’s graduate and professional master’s programs, including the Master of International Business (MIB), the MBA, the Master of Finance-Beijing, and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund program.

Since Ms. James began as director 12 years ago, and through focused goals set by Dean David Saunders, the centre has gradually increased the number of students participating in exchange and the number of schools Smith partners with around the world.

“When I started, it was just me and one other person. We were solely doing Commerce exchange and we were exchanging just over 200 students, with about 30 partners. Now, we have close to 120 partners in 35 countries, supporting about 1,200 students,” explains Ms. James, who worked at the Bader International Study Centre in the U.K. in admissions before joining Smith.

Diverse dynamic

The benefit of such a well-developed international program is the diversity of people and perspectives in the classroom, with upper-year classes almost 50 per cent exchange students and a big push within the school to keep bringing in a more diverse faculty complement.

“Professors and students both love the dynamic this creates and they are insisting on making it more diverse,” says Ms. James.

For international students, she explains, Smith and Queen’s are very attractive options. Many of them come from top business schools found in large city centres around the world, and they love the small size of Kingston, the community spirit at Queen’s, and small class sizes at Smith. There is also great opportunity to interact and make friends with Canadian students through group work and through a student-led Exchange and Transfer Committee, which organizes events with the goal of integrating exchange students into life at Queen’s.

For domestic students, going out on exchange is an opportunity to launch themselves away from the safety net of Queen’s (and the busy social life) and gain new perspectives on the world, politics, and global affairs. Every student who comes to Smith is guaranteed a spot on exchange if they want it, and because international education is an integral part of the MIB program, it is integrated into each student’s experience, either through exchange or one of 11 double degree programs.

“Change happens tenfold on exchange. Often, they are living in a big city centre and experiencing culture shock and missing home. They are able to better define who they are as a person,” says Ms. James. “They come back with a new sense of self-confidence and independence. And we help them verbalize the change they’ve gone through and translate their experience so they can include that on their resume. The international experience remains vivid for a long time – it lingers longer, with students reflecting on it for years to come.”

***

The Centre for International Management recently ran a photography contest for students on exchange. View their impressive photos on the Smith Facebook page.

Internationalization is one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. Learn more on the International website.

 

Changes to senior academic leadership mandates

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon has announced the expansion/refocusing or extension of four senior academic leadership mandates.

“The mandates of senior academic leadership must evolve in order to best meet the needs and aspirations of the university. Accordingly, the roles and responsibilities for both Teri Shearer and Martha Whitehead have been updated and enhanced to reflect the goals and aims of their positions,” says Dr. Bacon. “I am also pleased that both Dean Bill Flanagan and Dean David Saunders have agreed to extend their positions for one and two years respectively, and will continue to provide the leadership that Queen’s has come to rely upon.”

[Teri Shearer]To reflect the deputy provost’s new focus on, and accountability for, equity, diversity and inclusion on campus, Teri Shearer’s title has been modified to deputy provost (academic operations and inclusion). In this modified role, Dr. Shearer will champion equity, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the university’s mission. She will oversee the Human Rights and Equity Offices, lead the university’s response to the crucial reports from the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity and Inclusion and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce, and oversee the establishment of the Aboriginal Initiatives Office.

The deputy provost’s key operational responsibilities in overseeing academic appointments and curriculum development as chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Development will also ensure there is direct oversight for enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion across the university’s academic operations. As the provost's second-in-command, the deputy provost (academic operations and inclusion) is uniquely positioned to lead broad institutional change through close working relationships with the deans, vice-provosts and vice-principals.

[Martha Whitehead]Martha Whitehead has been asked to play a more explicit role in the institutional coordination of the university’s various areas of digital strengths, and in further planning to meet Queen’s current and future digital needs. Accordingly, her title has been revised to vice-provost (digital planning) and university librarian. Working hand in hand with the chief information officer and associate vice-principal (information technology services), Ms. Whitehead will help to bring together all stakeholders and lead discussions towards laying the foundation of a digital strategy for Queen’s.

[Bill Flanagan]At Principal Daniel Woolf’s request, Bill Flanagan has agreed to remain in the position of dean, Faculty of Law for an additional year until June 30, 2019, following the conclusion of his third term on June 30, 2018. Mr. Flanagan was initially appointed dean of the Faculty of Law in 2005, and has since seen the faculty through a period of unprecedented growth and development. 

[David Saunders]At the principal's request, David Saunders has agreed to serve for two additional years, until June 30, 2020, as dean of the Smith School of Business. Under Dr. Saunders’ strategic leadership, the business school has experienced dramatic growth and surge in reputation, and has expanded its footprint in both Kingston and Toronto. In 2015, the school received a $50 million donation from Canadian entrepreneur Stephen Smith – the largest gift to a business school in Canada – and in recognition, was named the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business.

 

Delivering on the pitch

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) recently handed out a total of $28,000 to six companies that participated in its first-ever regional pitch competition.

“The support of the Dunin and Deshpande Foundations makes it possible to provide this type of financial support to QyourVenture and to support ventures in southeastern Ontario,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director, Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre.

[Greg Bavington with members of TimberWolf]
TimberWolf Cycles representatives David Timan (Sc'13) and Caitlin Willis (Com'09) receive feedback from Greg Bavington, Executive Director, Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, during the recent regional pitch competition. (Submitted photo)

DDQIC hosted the regional pitch competition with the goal of supporting early-stage companies based at Queen’s and the surrounding area.

The pitch competition was open to anyone with a business idea who has not already received more than $5,000 in support from DDQIC. The field included several companies from QyourVenutre, an acceleration program which supports Queen’s students who want to take their idea to the next level. QyourVenture accepts companies on a regular basis throughout the school year, giving them access to space and training for their business venture.

The pitch competition was judged by members of the DDQIC Global Network in London, England, who connected via videoconference, along with the DDQIC executive team. Chaired by Heather Christie (Artsci’09), the London branch is supported by 13 Queen’s alumni who come from a variety of different professional and education backgrounds. This branch offers support to DDQIC ventures that want to expand into the UK and the rest of Europe.

The winning ventures at the pitch competition included:

TimberWolf Cycles ($5,000) – The company, founded by David Timan (Sc’13), produces high-performance road bikes made from wood. Using a variety of woods, Mr. Timan has designed a bike that softens road vibration while efficiently delivering power to the road through an exceptionally lightweight frame.

Capteur ($5,000) – A QyourVenture company, Capteur enables building operators and maintenance companies to ensure facilities are always clean and operating according to sustainable environmental practices. Cole MacDonald (Sci’19) and Nathan Mah (MEI’17) founded the cloud-based technology start-up.

Robot Missions ($5,000 plus time in SparQ Studios) – Robot Missions, founded by Erin Kennedy, has developed a 3D-printed robot that collects harmful tiny trash debris from shorelines. The company’s robot workshops enhance STEM education for elementary students by applying robotics to the environment.

Your Mobility Innovations ($4,000) – Founded by Loyalist College students Dylan Houlden and Brett Lyons, the company designs and produces products to improve the lives of people with physical disabilities and the elderly. Mr. Lyon, who was born with cerebral palsy and confined to a wheelchair, had the idea for an adjustable grab bar when he was eight-years-old. The founders are trying to turn that idea into a reality, working with several partners including Queen’s Biomedical Innovations Team, PARTEQ, and Queen’s Business Law Clinic.

Pronura ($4,000) – Pronura plans to commercialize a non-invasive, inexpensive method for testing for multiple neurological diseases at the same time – all with accuracy unseen in any current tests. The test, developed by Dr. Douglas P. Munoz of the Queen’s Eye Movement Laboratory, uses an eye-tracker to detect unique biomarkers associated with multiple neurological diseases. Founders Matthew De Sanctis and Adam Palter met in the Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation program offered by Smith School of Business.

SŌ Seeds ($3,000 plus in-kind donations from the Department of Chemical Engineering) – The venture aims to disrupt the tree-planting industry by replacing saplings with coated super-seeds. SŌ Seeds was founded by five chemical engineering students as part of their innovation and entrepreneurship course under the mentorship of Jim McLellan, Professor and Academic Director, DDQIC.

SWFT ($2,000) – The start-up focuses on developing portable and wireless charging solutions for festivals, stadiums, transit systems, theme parks, and other venues. The service allows patrons to charge their phones without being tethered to charging stations. Friends Greg Fedele (Com’17) and Anish Sharma (Sc’17) founded the company.

Through a variety of programs, services, and resources, the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre encourages, enables, and supports the innovation activities of students, professors, entrepreneurs, and Canadian companies. More information about the centre is available online.

Smith School of Business new home for IBM Watson in Canada

[IBM Canada | Smith Cognitive Computing Centre]
Smith staff interact with IBM Watson in the new IBM Canada | Smith Cognitive Computing Centre at Smith’s downtown Toronto campus. (Submitted photo)

Smith School of Business unveiled a new cognitive computing centre at its downtown Toronto campus today.

The new IBM Canada | Smith Cognitive Computing Centre, the first of its kind at a business school in Canada, is a collaborative space that will provide an exclusive artificial intelligence demonstration experience for IBM clients and enhanced access to cognitive computing solutions for Smith students and faculty.

“Integrating the latest in artificial intelligence and cognitive computing into our curriculum further enhances the learning experience for Smith students,” says David Saunders, Dean, Smith School of Business. “Access to the centre will also give our students a competitive edge in the work force and in developing new venture concepts.”

The centre consists of seven interactive wall screens for users to work directly with IBM Watson technologies in a multi-media environment. Under this five-year collaboration, IBM will offer a number of annual internships to Smith students, providing opportunities to work with IBM Watson technologies in a business setting.

Visit Smith’s Facebook page to see more photos of the centre and launch event.

 

TRC report brings communities together to change course

  • Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with lecturer Nathan Brinklow during Tuesday's event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with lecturer Nathan Brinklow during Tuesday's event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Principal Daniel Woolf holds up a copy of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report during Tuesday's event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Principal Daniel Woolf holds up a copy of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report during Tuesday's event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Marlene Brant Castellano, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Council at Queen's University, and Queen's Native Student Association President Lauren Winkler comment on the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Marlene Brant Castellano, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Council at Queen's University, and Queen's Native Student Association President Lauren Winkler comment on the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Co-Chairs Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Mark Green, Professor (Civil Engineering), welcome guests to the event held at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Co-Chairs Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Mark Green, Professor (Civil Engineering), welcome guests to the event held at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Four Directions Women Singers – from left, Laura Maracle, Vanessa McCourt, and Melanie Howard – sing an Anishinaabe honour song during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Four Directions Women Singers – from left, Laura Maracle, Vanessa McCourt, and Melanie Howard – sing an Anishinaabe honour song during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with Laurel Claus-Johnson of the Katarokwi Grandmothers Council during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with Laurel Claus-Johnson of the Katarokwi Grandmothers Council during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

At a special reception Tuesday night to mark the unveiling of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Task Force final report and recommendations, Principal Daniel Woolf told the crowd of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and local Indigenous community members that, “Today, our communities come together to change course.”

“By taking steps to ensure that Indigenous histories are shared, by recognizing that we can all benefit from Indigenous knowledge, and by creating culturally validating learning environments, we can begin to reduce barriers to education and create a more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse university,” said Principal Woolf.

The special event, held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and the TRC report represent a significant milestone for Queen’s and the local Indigenous communities, signalling a broad and sustained effort to build and improve relations, and to effect meaningful institutional change. The recommendations in the report span everything from hiring practices and programming, to research, community outreach, and the creation of Indigenous cultural spaces on campus. (More detailed list of recommendations below.)

Principal Woolf reiterated his commitment to fulfilling the recommendations in the task force’s final report, and to illustrate that commitment, he announced that the university will be creating an Office of Indigenous Initiatives in the coming months – an announcement met by a loud round of applause from the audience.

“This is just one of the task force’s many recommendations that I am committed to implementing across campus, and because I believe that we are stronger together, I welcome the rest of the Queen’s community to join me in that commitment,” he said.

Principal Woolf also stated his commitment to the TRC recommendations in a special Senate meeting on March 7, where he acknowledged “Queen’s own history as an institution that participated in a colonial tradition that caused great harm to Indigenous People.”

‘We are making history’

Bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members, Tuesday’s event was hosted by TRC Task Force co-chairs Mark Green and Jill Scott and showcased the importance of ceremony – with a traditional Mohawk opening presented by lecturer Nathan Brinklow, presentations by Elder Marlene Brant Castellano and student Lauren Winkler, an Anishinaabe Honour Song performed by the Four Directions Women Singers, and to end the evening, a Haudenosaunee Round Dance, led by performers from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, that brought guests together in a huge circle, hands linked.

“Ceremony reminds us that what we do today is important, impacting the relationships and responsibilities that we carry forward, and woven into our memory as a community,” said Dr. Brant Castellano, a member of the task force, Queen’s alumna, and pioneer and champion of Indigenous rights and education.

“We are making history,” Dr. Brant continued. “In creating the task force, Queen’s has stepped up to ask of itself: What can we do to advance reconciliation? … The task force has brought together voices from the Queen’s community saying: We can do this. We have a responsibility to do this. The report is presented to the principal, who speaks on behalf of the university. In this ceremony, all who are present become witnesses to Queen’s acknowledgement of past errors and commitment to walk together with Indigenous Peoples and others of good mind to restore and maintain a relationship of peace, friendship, and respect.”

“I would like to thank you all here today because by being here, you are showing me that you acknowledge the truths of our past, that you stand in support of these recommendations, and that you will make a commitment to seeing the recommendations through"
​~ Lauren Winkler

Lauren Winkler, student and president of the Queen’s Native Student Association, as well as deputy commissioner of Indigenous affairs for the Alma Mater Society and member of the TRC Task Force, spoke about the experiences of Indigenous students and the challenges and racist encounters they face on Queen’s campus.

"Our education system has failed and is failing to educate our students at the cost of Indigenous students. The university recognizes this – it’s one of the truths in our truth and reconciliation process," said Ms. Winkler, who went on to thank Principal Woolf for his acknowledgements of the history of mistreatment of the Indigenous community and Queen’s role in perpetuating the mistreatment.

"I would like to thank you all here today because by being here, you are showing me that you acknowledge the truths of our past, that you stand in support of these recommendations, and that you will make a commitment to seeing the recommendations through," said Ms. Winkler.

The TRC Task Force’s final report, which includes reproductions of artwork included in the Indigenous art collection at the Agnes, outlines recommendations and timelines for implementation – in particular, the formation of an implementation team that will work with faculties, schools, and shared service units to expedite recommendations. The task force asks for five-year plans from the faculties, schools, and other units to be completed by fall 2017.


Opportunities for undergraduate research

Each year, the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship (USSRF) provides students at Queen’s the opportunity to gain some valuable experience that will help them in their continuing studies and into their career.

Through the program, undergraduate students in social sciences, humanities, business and education are able to further develop their research skills under the guidance of a faculty researcher.

[USSRF]
Students who took part in the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship (USSRF) explain their research during a poster display at Stauffer Library. (University Communications)

Conor Hannigan (Artsci’17) took part in the USSRF program in 2016 and recommends it for any undergraduate student.

“The USSRF program is an exceptional opportunity for any undergraduate interested in continuing on to graduate studies or eventually academia, to develop research skills,” he says. “Not only is it useful for developing skills, but it has the potential to both broaden and deepen the student's research opportunities and activities. For example, the research I conducted through the USSRF has led me on to an undergraduate thesis as well as upcoming participation in the Inquiry@Queen's undergraduate research conference.”

He adds that the program is also an excellent way for students to build a strong relationship with a Queen’s faculty member. By working with David Haglund (Political Studies), Mr. Hannigan says he gained a greater understanding of how academic research is conducted as well as how to design and conduct research projects.

“Having a faculty member who has continued to act as a mentor for me following the USSRF work has motivated me to work harder and achieve more in my studies,” he says. “The program provides students with the opportunity to engage in research they are genuinely interested in by virtue of designing a project with a supervisor. This, of course, has both instrumental and intrinsic value.”

The USSRF program was established in 2011and is intended to provide students with meaningful opportunities to engage in discovery-based learning and to develop research and presentation skills.

The deadline for applications is March 10, at 4 pm. Up to 19 fellowships of $6,000 each will be offered to students whose projects take place on Queen’s campus and up to three fellowships of $5,000 each will be offered to students whose projects take place at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) at Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex, England.

For more information, visit the USSRF program website.

Opportunities for international collaboration

Queen's in the World

Applications are open for the International Visitors Program of the Principal’s Development Fund, a program that helps connect Queen’s with academics and institutions around the world by sponsoring visits by international scholars. The program also works to foster connections between Queen’s and its partners within the Matariki Network of Universities.

“This program provides a tremendous opportunity for collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas between the Queen’s community and scholars and universities around the globe,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “I am very pleased to offer this funding as part of our ongoing support for international partnerships and, in particular, alliances with the Matariki Network.”

Last year, Professor Karol Miller from the University of Western Australia visited Queen's through the International Visitors Program of the Principal's Development Fund.

The International Visitors Program includes three application categories, each of which offers grants of up to $3,000. Category one is the open program, which helps to cover the costs of bringing an international scholar to Queen’s for a period of at least three days. 

The other two application categories focus on leveraging Queen’s membership in the Matariki Network of Universities. One of these is an extension of the visiting scholars program, specifically aimed at bringing visitors to Queen’s from the other Matariki universities, which include the University of Western Australia (UWA), Tübingen University, Uppsala University, Dartmouth College, University of Otago, and Durham University. Last year, Professor Karol Miller from UWA visited Queen’s through the program and gave a talk about his research into computational biomechanics at the School of Computing Distinguished Speaker Seminar.

The third application category provides funding to assist Queen’s faculty and staff to travel to Matariki partner institutions to build new collaborations. This seed funding may be used to initiate new academic, research, or administrative initiatives.

Applications for these categories are due to the relevant dean’s office by April 21, 2017. For more information, including program details and application forms, visit the Principal’s website.

Questions about the Principal’s Development Fund may be directed to Csilla Volford, Coordinator, International Projects and Events, in the Office of the Associate Vice-Principal (International).

 

A worthwhile investment

Queen’s students will vie for the title of Canada’s top student investor this winter, while at the same time raising money for a good cause.

The Capitalize for Kids Student Challenge will feature more than a thousand students from 30 different universities across Canada going head to head in a portfolio management competition. There is no cost to register, but to be eligible for prizes and professional benefits such as mentorship, participants must fundraise at least $100 to support cutting-edge research and programs at the Centre for Brain and Mental Health at SickKids Hospital in Toronto.

[Joshua Wine, Jack Hayward, and Lauren Wong]
Joshua Wine, Jack Hayward, and Lauren Wong plan to keep a close eye on the stock ticker in Goodes Hall once the Capitalize for Kids Student Challenge kicks off Jan. 16. The national portfolio management competition will give students the opportunity to hone their financial management skills while at the same time raising money in support of children’s brain and mental-health research.

Joshua Wine, Com’17, Jack Hayward, Com’17, and Lauren Wong, Com’17 – executive members of Queen’s University Investment Counsel – are encouraging Queen’s students from all academic programs to participate in the competition.

“Nearly everyone I talk to has a friend or family member or knows someone who experienced a brain or mental health issue when they were young,” says Mr. Wine. “The Student Challenge gives students the chance to support a worthy cause as they develop the skills and experience necessary for an investment career after graduation.”

From Jan. 16-April 16, students will select and manage an investment portfolio. Participants must submit a 500-word explanation of their investment thesis. Final ranking is determined by the performance of the portfolio and a juried evaluation of the provided rationale.

Capital for a cause

The Student Investor Challenge is hosted by Capitalize for Kids Foundation, which was established by Queen’s alumni Jeff Gallant, Com’11, and Kyle MacDonald, Com’11, in 2014. Justin Scaini, Artsci’13, Associate Director, Capitalize for Kids, says the organization launched the student challenge in order to engage future investment leaders who want to make a difference.

Dynamic Duo
Smith School of Business profiled Jeff Gallant and Kyle MacDonald, founders of Capitalize for Kids, in 2014. Read more about their charitable work

“Mental health is the number one health issue facing young people,” says Mr. Scaini, who notes that young people between the ages of 15 and 24 experience mental illness and/or substance-use disorders more than any other age group. “To tackle this immense challenge, Capitalize for Kids supports projects focused on depression and brain injuries, which are among the most prevalent issues experienced by children and youth.”

Mr. Scaini developed a passion for supporting youth mental health in his second year at Queen’s. He became involved in Jack.org, which was founded by Eric Windeler and Sandra Hanington after their son died by suicide in March 2010. After acting in a Jack.org educational video, Mr. Scaini played a leading role in organizing the Jack Summit (formerly Unleash the Noise), a national student mental health innovation summit held each year in Toronto.

After working with Accenture as a management consultant after graduation, Mr. Scaini jumped at the chance to join Capitalize for Kids, where he could combine his passion for improving youth mental health with his professional interests.

Investing in financial literacy

Mr. Scaini says the investment challenge also offers educational value for university students across all disciplines.

“With the challenge, we wanted to enhance financial literacy of young people. We believe the competition is an engaging way to teach students about investing and portfolio management,” he says.

Mr. Wine, the Queen’s student organizing the competition on campus, agrees the competition has the potential to make the stock market less intimidating for students.

“We are at the point in our lives where we will be earning a salary soon, so it’s a good time to learn more about the stock market and gain a greater awareness of investment opportunities,” he says.

The deadline to sign up for the competition is Jan. 15. Visit the Capitalize for Kids website for more information.

Optimistic outlook

Uncertainty from the US election and a rise in anti-trade rhetoric were cited as reasons for the slow export growth, reduced business investments and increased inflation we can expect for Canada in 2017, according to Smith School of Business experts.

Evan Dudley (Finance) made his predictions for the 2017 Canadian economy at the annual Queen’s Smith Business Forecast Luncheon held last week in Kingston.

Blair Robertson (Finance) makes a presentation on the local economy during the annual Business Forecast Luncheon hosted by the Smith School of Business. (Supplied Photo)

“It’s not just Donald Trump and the challenges ahead for Canada-US relations that should concern us,” Dr. Dudley says. “The world is shifting towards greater protectionism – in the last six months alone, 145 new trade restrictions were imposed globally.”

Slow export growth, reduced business investments, and trade uncertainty will constrain output for Canada, he says. The coming year may see marginal growth in Canada’s real GDP, up 1.75 per cent from 1.40 per cent in 2016.  As well, persistent low oil prices and the difference in monetary policies between the U.S. and Canada will keep the value of the loonie down, with the Canada/US exchange rate holding at $0.75 USD, Dr. Dudley predicted.

Trade restrictions and expansionary fiscal policy on both sides of the border will push prices higher in the near term, with inflation expected to rise to 1.75 per cent from 1.5 per cent in 2016. The Canadian unemployment rate will remain around 7 per cent due to uncertainty about US economic policies under the Trump administration and low business spending in Canada.

Dr. Dudley’s forecast was not all doom and gloom, however, with strong growth projected for Kingston’s local economy.

The event closed with a panel discussion on “Creating the Conditions for Local Economic Growth,” moderated by the Smith School of Business’ Ken Wong (Marketing). Panel members included Mayor Bryan Paterson and Councillor Laura Turner.

The 2017 Forecast
• Real GDP growth rate of 1.75 per cent
• Inflation rate rise to 1.75 per cent
• Unemployment rate unchanged 7.0 per cent
• Interest rate (prime) unchanged at 2.7 per cent 
• Exchange rate (US/CDN) unchanged at $0.75

Wong emphasized the need to “broaden the tax base, foster more population growth, and, most of all, increase private sector investment.” Ms. Turner spoke to the city’s strengths as a tourist destination, noting the benefits of the low Canadian dollar in attracting US visitors.

Mayor Paterson said “2016 has been a great year” for Kingston, citing recent multi-million dollar investments in the city from Feihe International, a China-based manufacturer of infant formula, and Portuguese food processor Frulact Group. The goal, the mayor explained, is “branding Kingston as a city of entrepreneurship and innovation and working together to grow the city.”

Dr. Dudley shared the mayor’s optimism for Kingston looking forward, citing two expansion projects – Providence Care ($300 million) and the municipal airport ($16 million) – and the new Dunin-Deshpande Innovation Centre at Queen’s, as initiatives that will help spark growth in the city.

In addition to the forecast and panel discussion, attendees were treated to a non-traditional take on investment strategy from Blair Robertson (Finance) and a brief history of the forecast luncheon from the event’s founder Merv Daub, the Smith professor emeritus who established the luncheon 35 years ago to forge a connection between the school and the greater Kingston business community.

Fight for food

  • [Utcha Sawyers with students]
    Utcha Sawyers, a senior manager at FoodShare Toronto, speaks with students during the recent Social Innovation Bootcamp. (Submitted photo)
  • [Mara Shaw]
    Mara Shaw of Loving Spoonful leads students in a discussion of food justice and food insecurity. (Submitted photo)
  • [Utcha Sawyers and Tina Dacin]
    Utcha Sawyers (left), a senior manager at FoodShare Toronto, and Tina Dacin, Director, Smith School of Business Centre for Social Impact. (Submitted photo)

Hacking food justice was the theme at the recent Social Innovation Bootcamp hosted by the Centre for Social Impact at the Smith School of Business

The bi-annual bootcamp convenes Smith MBA and Bachelor of Commerce students who are working towards their Certificate in Responsible Leadership with community organizations and social enterprises who are addressing critical social problems.

Working in small teams, 65 students and representatives from FoodShare Toronto and the Loving Spoonful came together to apply an accelerated one-day design thinking process to three opportunities that FoodShare Canada is grappling with.      

The contributions from Smith students provided FoodShare and the Loving Spoonful with a set of unique ideas and approaches. At the same time, Smith students got a deeper look at how innovative organizations are using market-based approaches and community engagement to improve access to healthy food. 

“It was great to meet and work with people on a real-life problem. Together, we came up with a solution that really inspired me,” says Sophie Labrosse, Com’19.

The certificate program at the Centre for Social Impact offers graduate and undergraduate Smith School of Business students an opportunity to augment their degrees with an exciting experience-based, integrative exposure to the dynamic field of responsible leadership – exploring in depth areas such as business ethics, social innovation, social entrepreneurship, sustainability, and community engagement.

Visit the Centre for Social Impact website for more information about the Certificate in Responsible Leadership program and the Social Innovation Bootcamp, which is supported by Michael Kehoe, Com’78, and Suncor Energy Foundation.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Business